The environment and contamination
06 August 2019
How environmental conditions and contamination can be managed to reduce the risk of slips and trips
Slips and trips - hazards caused by environment and contamination
Slips and trips in historic properties
Improvements such as installing an anti-slip floor, providing extra lighting or fitting a canopy over an entrance doorway may not be practical in an historic property due to conservation reasons as well as cost.
Top tips for preventing slips and trips
Here are some solutions and considerations to overcome these challenges:
- Use LED bulbs as they last longer and can be more cost efficient.
- Where lighting levels are kept low for conservation reasons, use localised lighting or other means of highlighting hazards.
- Document and communicate your bad weather plans to staff and volunteers, whilst monitoring local weather forecasts so that you can be proactive when snow or ice are anticipated.
- Regularly clean entrance matting and ensure it is large enough to capture all moisture walked into the property and is in the correct position.
- On a wet day, walk in from outside and see how far into the building your wet shoes create footsteps – this indicates the amount of absorbent matting you need.
- Provide lids on drinks cups.
- Convert shortcuts across grass or muddy/gritty areas to proper paths if appropriate.
- Include the removal of leaves, moss and algae in your regular maintenance schedule.
- Choose lighting that illuminates the area sufficiently without creating shadow or glare and set timers and sensors to ensure they activate quickly and do not cut off too soon.
- If your precautions are adequate given your circumstances.
- Completing a risk assessment if you need one to comply with health and safety law.
- Providing information and training for any employees and volunteers on what they need to do.
- Making periodic checks that your arrangements and precautions remain adequate.
- Documenting your arrangements and responsibilities for preventing slips and trips, perhaps as part of your health and safety policy.
- Highlighting challenging areas in your visitor and user information